Melo Trimble entered Maryland basketball’s game against Northwestern mired in a mini-slump. He’d only shot 31 percent over his previous three games, two of them losses. From his first attempt Tuesday night, the Terps’ star put that firmly behind him.
Inspired undoubtedly by a new haircut, Trimble bounced back to the tune of a career-high 32 points against the Wildcats. He may have had more complete games in his Maryland career, but this was as unstoppable and efficient as he’s ever been. Trimble’s points often come at the free throw line, but this time, all but four came from the field. He was dominant from inside and out.
Melo Trimble had a career-high 32 points for Maryland (his 3rd career 30-point game) pic.twitter.com/MIEwfm9GHX— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 16, 2017
Trimble came off a Justin Jackson pick for his first bucket, a three-pointer less than three minutes into the game.
Trimble was 4-for-5 from deep, one of the best performances he’s had from beyond the arc during his career. The threes didn’t look different from what he’d been shooting this season, but on this night, they just went in.
He didn’t actually score his second bucket until there was 9:15 left in the half. Then Trimble went on a mini-tear, scoring eight points in two minutes. He attacked the rim with force. He didn’t rely on getting contact, finishing strong without a whole lot of resistance from Northwestern. To end the half, he blew by Northwestern’s Sanjay Lumpkin for an easy and-1.
Trimble had 13 points going into the break. But he had 10 points headed into halftime in the Terps’ previous game against Ohio State and proceeded to only score one point in the second half.
This second half went much better than that one.
He totaled 19 points in the final 20 minutes, and put Maryland in position to withstand any potential late-game Northwestern run. That run came, as the Wildcats pulled within eight in the final minutes. But Trimble had already given his team enough of a cushion.
He scored eight of the team’s first 12 points to open the half. Trimble dominated the game so much that he didn’t need a whole lot of help. Anthony Cowan was the team’s next-highest scorer with 13 points, and he didn’t get into double digits until Northwestern sent him to the foul line at the end.
Trimble used his excellent speed to consistently burn Lumpkin and Vic Law, both of whom are longer and more physical, but had trouble handling Trimble’s quickness. He was also just physical enough, getting a layup and the foul to put Maryland up 19 with under nine minutes to go.
We’ve seen Trimble look like this before — last year’s loss to North Carolina comes to mind as a similar effort — but it’d been a while. He’ll still be consistently very good, but as his career at Maryland (possibly) winds down, Trimble gave fans a performance they won’t soon forget.